Visa: Card Payments Overtake Cash Usage In Singapore

Visa: Card Payments Overtake Cash Usage In Singapore
  • Popularity of mobile contactless payment is increasing
  • Almost all Singapore consumers in study use cards for payment

Photo by Aleksandrs Karevs on Unsplash

Card payments have overtaken cash to become the most-used payment method in Singapore, according to the latest edition of Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study

This study was conducted in October 2022 by CLEAR with 1,000 Singaporeans aged 18-65 years of age. This is part of a regional research project conducted in Southeast Asia on over 6,550 consumers across seven markets. It shows that 97% of those surveyed use card payments, while 82% use cash.

Visa: Card Payments Overtake Cash Usage In Singapore“Singapore’s tech-savvy consumers lead hyper-digital lives, and our nation’s advanced payments infrastructure has made it possible for many to go cashless. Many consumers have embraced the convenience and ease of paying anyone, anywhere with a tap, click, or scan. said Adeline Kim (pic), Visa’s country manager for Singapore & Brunei. “Visa is working closely with banks, merchants, fintech, and other strategic partners to power cashless payments for new and exciting use cases, such as electric vehicle charging as Singapore gears up towards becoming a smart city”.

The study revealed that more than 95% of Singapore consumers use credit or debit cards for payment, a consistent trend across generations from Baby Boomers to Gen Z. 

More than four in five Singapore consumers (82%) use contactless cards. It has become the preferred payment method for categories including convenience store purchases (54%), retail shopping (53%), supermarket purchases (52%), public transport (33%), as well as taxis and ride-sharing (28%). 

Online card payments remain the method of choice for bill payments (35%) as well.

Contactless payments penetration for Visa cards in Singapore has now crossed 95% as of December 2022 according to VisaNet. This means that for every 10 Visa transactions, more than nine are using contactless payments, and this is one of the highest in the world.

Nearly all (89%) Singapore consumers who use contactless payments use the method at least once a week, with two in five (41%) using it at least four times a week.

While it is not the most widely used method, mobile contactless payments (52%) and QR code payments (48%) continue to increase among Singapore consumers. Since the pandemic, mobile contactless payments have seen greater use for public transport, petrol, as well as food and dining. 

On the other hand, QR code payments are increasingly being used for retail shopping and convenience store purchases.

With the abundance of different cashless payment methods available in Singapore, nearly two in three consumers (63%) have tried to go cashless. More than two in five (42%) have succeeded in doing so for at least a week. 

Among those who have not yet attempted, three in five are confident they can survive for at least the next few days, while nearly half (48%) are confident they can survive for the next week. Two in four Singapore consumers (39%) are also carrying less cash in their wallets due to greater reliance on contactless payments.

Although Visa had been publishing the Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study since 2019, last year it did not measure the usage of credit and debit cards in Singapore, hence there being no comparison with 2021. It only did a study on the subcategories of debit and credit cards like contactless, swipe and online cards.

In last year’s edition of the study, looking at 2021 data, Visa highlighted that 55% of Malaysians can go without cash for more than a week as digital payment usage increases. The 2022 report for Malaysia will be out soon.